Leslie Cannold: Writer, Commentator, Ethicist, Researcher
EVENTS

On 6:00pm - 7:00pm, 10 Mar 2016: Elizabeth Gower's exhibition ‘He loves me, He loves me not’ at RMIT Gallery

Leslie is thrilled to be opening artist Elizabeth Gower’s exhibition with Sushi Das and Dr Megan Tyler at the RMIT Gallery.

The exhibition explores how women in particular are encouraged to seek validation at an early age, by conforming to prescribed behaviours, sanctioned body image, fashion, career and lifestyle choices. In some societies the behaviour and choices available to women are more restrictive and require cultural authorization and consent. The phrase ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ can also have more negative connotations that signify the trauma of domestic instability and violence.

Elizabeth will be writing the phrase ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ 21,915 times by hand on long sheets of hanging acetate in the main gallery, which represents the number of days she lived and asked this question. She writes the phrase as a representative of women across cultures, who are conditioned to seek approval, permission and sanction from the generic ‘he’. Initially the ‘he’ represents male authority in the form of the father, but is also inclusive of the relationship with the brother, the boyfriend, the lover, the husband and the son, as well as the various concepts of a deity. The ‘he’ also stands for the colleague, the boss, the friend, and as an artist, the critic and the audience.

Gower writes ‘Seeking approval is endemic in most cultures and equated with desirability and status. Women in particular are encouraged to seek validation at an early age, by conforming to prescribed behaviours, sanctioned body image, fashion, career and lifestyle choices. In some societies the behaviour and choices available to women are more restrictive and require cultural authorization and consent. The phrase ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ can also have more negative connotations that signify the trauma of domestic instability and violence.’

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Email: leslie@cannold.com Mobile: 0417 114 859 Fax: +61 3 9348 2015 - PO Box 1337, St Kilda South VIC 3182 Australia